Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Body found in Rocky Mountain National Park believed to be lost hiker

(Reposted from the Denver Post)

Officials believe they have found the body of a Texan missing in Rocky Mountain National Park since late last week.

Park officials were notified Tuesday afternoon by two persons who were snowshoeing north and west of Bear Lake that they had found a body in a thick timbered area, approximately 100 feet off a summer hiking trail.

Larimer County Coroner's office will not make a positive identification until completion of an autopsy. However, officials said they believe that the body is that of Troy Green, 39, from San Antonio.

The body was found near the Flattop Mountain trail, was inside the search area but approximately one mile north of the Tyndall Gorge and Nymph Lake region where searchers believed that Green may have hiked. 

The area had been searched several times by ground personnel, a dog team, and helicopter flights.

The body was against a tree and wearing dark-colored clothing, park officials said in a news release.

Rescuers had scaled back their efforts Monday in light of avalanche conditions.

On Sunday, searchers, dogs and helicopters combed the area, which was in use by park skiiers and snowshoers, the park said in a news release. Ground search teams found deep snow, and aerial searchers noted large slab avalanches on the northeast side of peaks.

Green disappeared after coming to Colorado for a conference. His wife called the Denver Police Department when he failed to contact her Thursday.

Two people told Rocky Mountain National Park rangers that they spoke with Troy Green at 1 p.m. Thursday, but they didn't see what direction he went.

Park rangers on Friday located a car that matched the description of Green's rental car at the Bear Lake parking lot.

An investigation by rangers coupled with reports from witnesses determined that Green purchased hiking gear after arriving in Colorado.



  1. Sad I wonder what happened, seems like he was resting by a tree. So close to rescuers too. Jason what does altitude sickness do to a person? After reading this I searched and found many articles about lost and never found mountain hikers out your way. I think winter trekking would be pretty difficult in the snow and avalanche warnings. Next time I solo hike I am going to make a point of leaving tracks in someway.

  2. Hey Cattledog,

    Yes, this is very sad, and my heart goes out to his family. This happened only a few miles away from me, and this area is very deadly in the winter for the unprepared. In fact, several people die each year in the wilderness around these parts. Estes Park alone has twice recorded wind gusts of 109/110mph. High wind is nearly ALWAYS present here, which causes hypothermia really fast. 

    From what I understand, he got lost and disoriented while on a day hike, and wasn't carrying the 10 essentials, which would have included additional warm clothing, a knife, and the ability to make fire in an emergency situation. 

    The Rocky Mountains are one of the most dangerous places to be in the winter, so for those considering even a short day hike, listen to the locals and carry a survival kit, which should include something like the Grabber Space Tarp we reviewed along with adequate clothing.